by Gerald Weston
We are hearing this week of a record mega-lottery here in the United States. Some people tweeted the following answers to the question, “What would you do if you won a billion dollars?” One said he would build the wall between Mexico and the U.S. Another said he would rebuild Mexico Beach on the Gulf coast, destroyed by Hurricane Michael. And another said he would give some to charity and spend the rest of his life hunting and fishing.
Perhaps you dream about what you would do with a billion dollars, or a significant fraction of that amount. After all, one hundred million, or even ten million, will go a long way! Many people, when asked the question, say they would give a portion to charity. I’m sure they are sincere in saying this, but would they really build the wall or give it all to rebuild a destroyed city? Maybe, but probably not.
Have you ever considered that, in principle, you have already won the lottery? Let me explain.
Jesus made it plain that His message was not understandable by the majority. For example, Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44), repeating this truth to His disciples shortly afterward (v. 65). How few understand this! Consider also, why did Jesus speak in parables? It is not the reason I heard in Sunday school. Jesus’ own disciples asked Him this very question. Here was His answer: “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given” (Matthew 13:11). A parallel account on this same occasion adds, “But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples” (Mark 4:34).
If you understand these things you are part of a very small group of people. You understand, not because you are more intelligent or better than others, but because God has specially selected you to do His end-time Work. He opened your mind to precious truth not generally understood by billions on earth today! No, it is not a lottery based on chance. It is selection by the Creator of the universe! But as with lotteries, only a precious few win, and you have been called to win!
Jesus’ parables reflect the value of knowledge you receive from Tomorrow’s World and the Living Church of God, the sponsor of Tomorrow’s World. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:44–46).
The Apostle Peter wrote an encouraging passage regarding the difficult and painful things we experience in life. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6–7). And Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
These passages and parables all point to one great truth: Everything physical will perish, but the choices we make in life and the faith in God that we express by our actions are of far greater value than the things for which most people crave. As John instructs us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15, 17).
We do not like to think about it, but we will all come to the end of this physical existence, and the end of the trail comes sooner than we once thought. Young people may know this academically. Older folks measure the days (Psalm 39:4).
What if you did win the mega-lottery? How long would it last? What would you do with it? What truly lasting value would hunting and fishing give you in the end? Now please understand. Hunting and fishing have worthy recreational value, and I personally try to take off a few days each year to go fishing, but should that be the purpose of one’s life? What happens when the end of the trail comes? Then what?
The fact that you are reading this indicates you are probably one who sees more to life than another fishing trip, a game of golf, or winning the mega-lottery. Your contributions and your prayers show your love for God and your love for others (Matthew 22:35–40).
Our offices around the world receive a continual stream of letters from individuals thanking us for what we give them free of charge. We also receive some not too flattering letters, but that is fine. We know that we are reaching beyond the choir! However, I want to share a few comments with you, because you make them possible and these people want to thank you. I have embolden a few words for emphasis.
Here is a letter from Colorado from a reader who appreciated our booklet explaining the purpose of life. “Good Day. I just want to thank you for the Booklet: Your Ultimate Destiny! Awesome!!! Really opened my mind! Keep up the Good Work! GOD Bless You All.” If you have not read this booklet, please let us know and we will send you a free copy. It explains the very purpose of life straight from the pages of the Bible. Can there be any more valuable truth?
A writer from South Africa wants you to know how much he appreciates you. “I just want to thank you for the booklet and the Bible Study Course. Thanks for all the People at Tomorrow's World. You are Highly Appreciated! GOD Bless!”
A woman shared her thoughts by e-mail regarding a Tomorrow’s World article. “I read ‘Which Jesus Do You Worship,’ and it left me wondering and wanting to know more. Cause it is my heart’s desire to follow Christ Jesus. Thank you for waking me up.” You make the magazine possible, so we share her thanks with you!
Earlier this year someone from Perth, Australia wrote regarding Dr. Roderick C. Meredith’s series on the Protestant Reformation. “I am in receipt of May-June 2018 T/W magazine, for which as always, I am deeply grateful. . . . May Almighty God through Christ Jesus, continue to Bless each of you in this Wonderful Work that you are doing, and [I] look forward to receiving a copy of Dr. Meredith’s brilliant work.”
A subscriber from Toronto, Ontario wrote to express his appreciation. “Thank you so much for your ministry, you are helping people to understand we are living in the last days, and we have to live a life according to God’s Word. Thank you again. God Bless this Ministry.”
Some of our subscribers are in prison for serious sins committed earlier in life. This man writes from Hunlock, Pennsylvania. “Thank you for your magazine, Tomorrow’s World. . . . I am a life sentence prisoner serving a life without parole sentence. I have 30 years served so far. Your magazine helps me to keep my sanity in a world with so much misinformation and injustice. Your publication keeps me aware of what’s truly important.”
Another prisoner, this one from Marino, Ohio writes regarding Tomorrow’s World, “This magazine has been truly one of the most consistently read pieces of Christian literature in my 13½ years of incarceration. You guys are truly a blessing and exemplary of what a Christian today is to ‘look like’ and ‘sound like.’”
There are so many more I could share with you, but I’ll give just one more. This one is from Gatundu, Kenya. “I have been transformed by your magazines. The word of God is real, [and has] become simpler and clearer each day.”
Okay, I cannot resist. Here is one more, from a woman in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. “Other than the Holy Bible itself, I have been searching for a teaching program [that] teaches ‘Sound Christian doctrine.’ I applaud your ‘FREE’ teachings that other programs want to charge a lot of money for. How else would poor people be able to understand this wicked world?”
Once again, thank you for your part in making it possible to reach people of all races, nationalities, economic conditions, and ages. I pray that God fully opens your minds and hearts to the very purpose of life and that you will stand before the Son of God upon His return. You are making a difference through your tithes, offerings, and heartfelt prayers! Thank you dear friends!